A loud sneeze echoed through the big wooden house.
Next to the fire stood a small-ish bed. On the bed a small-ish teenage boy, snuffling and wiping his nose constantly.
He coughed when someone knocked on the door.
„Come in!" he managed to croak weakly, wrinkling his nose in anticipation of a new sneeze.A wild bush of tangled and spiked white hair peeked throught the big door, soon the familar face of Jack Frost followed.
"Hello?" he called "Anybody there?"
"Yeah" came the weak whimper from behind the cauldron over the fire.
Brows furrowed, Jack tip-toed over to the bed which appeared as soon as he neared the fireplace.
"Hiccup, is that you?" asked the sprite as soon as he laid eyes on the bundle on the hard wooden bed.
"Who do you think it is? It's definitely not a changeling! Or a troll! Or a dwarf!" Hiccup stopped, having run out of possible insults the spirit could have thrown at him. A chuckle was the only answer he got as the spirit scurried closer. As soon as he sat down on his own leg, providing a little more comfort on the hard bed, quite close to the Viking, Hiccup sneezed another time. Jack jumped into the air.
"What is wrong with you? Is your nose broken? Look, it's leaking!" Slowly he stretched out his finger, pointing it towards Hiccup's nose, moving closer and closer. With his own sweaty hand, Hiccup pushed the nearing finger away.
"No, Jack, I'm just ill! Just having a cold." He sniffled again.
The sprite chuckled again. "I can give you something cold, too!" Hands cupped the Viking's cheeks, pulling him in for a kiss. Hiccup only placed his hands on the chest of the other, pushing him away.
"No, stupid! That's disgusting! There is snot all over my face!" Eyebrows raised he looked at Jack. His only answer was a short "I don't care!" leaning in closer, when he suddenly stopped in mid-air.
"Hiccup… what's up with you? You're… hot!"
"Thank you, I know!"
"No, I mean, you feel like you're burning inside!"
"Oh?! Hiccup… oh?! This is serious! I have to…"
"No Jack, it's okay! It is just a fever!"
"A fever?!" He turned Hiccup's head from side to side frantically, unable to do anything else, not really knowing what a fever was. He had the unfortunate luck to never get ill. Especially not turning into a burning and snorting mess.
"As I said", Hiccup rolled his eyes a little, too weak for any more gestures, "it's okay! I had fevers before. I can handle those. I just have to keep myself warm and I will survive." Hiccup cocked his head to the side. "Unless the fever becomes too strong… then I might not survive it…" A quick glance over to Jack drew a laugh from the Viking teen.
"Oh you should see your face!" chortled the male, drawing the blanket closer around his scrawny shoulders.
Jack pouted slightly. He was worried about the other. He felt so helpless. Hiccup sat there, right next to him, sweating, gasping for air, because he seemingly could not breathe through his nose properly, fingers tightly clinging to the blanket. A blanket which looked far too thin in Jack's mind. This tiny piece of fabric would not keep him warm enough to fight the cold. But what could he do to help his friend?
Suddenly the spirit jumped from the bed, Hiccup's eyes flew open, realising he had been falling asleep. The fire had been soothingly warm, Jack's familiar presence calming him, his aching body craving for a rest.
Wide-eyed Hiccup watched Jack, as he grabbed the hem of his hoodie, pulling it over his head.
"Wha-what are you…" asked Hiccup, not able to finish his sentence, when the cold blue clothing hit his face and stifled his words.
"You said you need to keep warm, so I give you something to keep you warm. This blanket of yours does not look like it can do the job properly. So…" he placed his hands on his hips, standing in the room bare-chested, smiling from ear to ear.
Slowly Hiccup pulled the hoodie from where it landed on his head. Hot fingers clenched around the blue fabric, which was rather cold in his hands. He had not expected such a gesture from Jack, well he had not really expected anything. Surprised by his generosity, he pulled the hoodie over his head wordlessly.
It felt cold. Hiccup could feel it even though he was still wearing his usual clothes. Lightly he bit his lower lip and smiled. "Thank you!" he mumbled, eyes looking down into his own lap.
Jack's grin widened. His help was appreciated. He could help Hiccup. He could…
A chuckle disturbed the self-praising thoughts of the spirit, who blinked, staring at the source of the rather happy noise.
"What?" came the short question. Jack was far too perplexed for a longer sentence. Was Hiccup laughing at him? What had he done?
The mysterious answer startled the sprite even more. He stepped closer to the bed, looking at Hiccup, trying to find the sense in his words.
The low chuckle turned into a light laughter. Hot, trembling fingers pulled the sleeves over his hands, which were then raised to his mouth as the laugh grew bigger.
Jack squinted his eyes, trying to figure out what had brought the fit of happiness over the other, making it unable for him to tell the sprite what was so funny. Until he saw it.
The little frost patterns on the hem of the sleeves had disappeared, just like the frost around the collar and hood. Unable to stop himself Jack joined in the giggles. Hiccup was too hot. He was melting the frost, which the spirit of winter had unconsciously left on his own clothing, dampening the fabric.
"You're simply too hot!" Jack stated plainly after their laughter had ebbed away. Hiccup only nodded, too weak to shoot anything back.
Lazily he snuggled himself deeper into the fabric, nose buried just at the hem, breathing in the beloved scent of the spirit.
His eyes fell shut and Jack hurried to join Hiccup on the bed. Careful, not to disturb the other too much, he wrapped the blanket around him closer, tugging as much fabric between their two bodies as Jack could find.
"Whaddaya doin'?" mumbled the tired teen.
"Spending time with you, making sure you're alright!"
Both lay on their sides, Jack behind Hiccup, placing one arm doubtfully over the waist of the other, hoping he would not cool him down too much, when he needed more warmth.
Jack felt sad. He really wished that he could do something else than just keeping things cool. He wanted to do something for Hiccup… but all he needed was far the opposite of what Jack was.
The Viking managed no answer, already drifting off to sleep. A smile was heard when he exhaled and moved under this much fabric, shifting himself a little closer into Jack's embrace, nose still buried in the wet hoodie.
The whole night Jack kept an eye on Hiccup, checking his forehead now and then. The fever did not go down. Little pearls of sweat formed continuously on his freckled face. Still there was not much he could do but to check from time to time, arranging the blanket around the tiny Viking frame and to keep the fire burning.
Suddenly, while Jack was cowering in front of the fire, making sure the log of wood newly placed into the fire was in the right spot, Hiccup groaned in his sleep, turning to one side, then the other, not coming to a rest.
Quickly Jack abandoned the fireplace and hurried over to the teen. Yes, he was still asleep, but something seemed to trouble his small body. Eyelids fluttered and the sweat on his head seemed to be much more evident. Worry showed on Jack's face. What should he do? Wake Hiccup up?
"Hiccup?" whispered the spirit. No answer. "Hiccup!" he tried it again, voice raised a little, placing his hand on the hot shoulder.
What in the name of the moon?Hiccup's body was burning! Far worse than a few hours ago! Running his cold hand over the freckled face in front of him, Jack tried to think what to do next. Had not Hiccup said it could kill him when the temperature rose too high? This was not good! Not good at all! What could he do?
"Hiccup, wake up!" he pleaded, shaking the Viking some more. Still no answer.
Wildly Jack ran his fingers through his hair. What could he do? There was no one here and Hiccup's breathing got heavier and heavier and Jack felt more and more helpless and what could he do, was there something he could do? Was there someone to ask? Would help be swift enough to reach him?
Hiccup groaned again, tossing the blanket to the side.
The spirit hurried over to his side, grabbing the edge of the blanket, drawing it back over the teen, who shook it off rather quickly again.
"No, Hiccup, you need that!" Jack mumbled and reached out to grab the fabric again, when he heard Hiccup sigh. Why had he? Jack moved closer and Hiccup sighed again in his sleep. Carefully a cold hand was placed on hot skin. The sick Viking relaxed under the touch.
Could it be? Jack asked himself, before he moved his other hand to Hiccup's chest. The expression on his face changed considerably. Could it be that after all, Jack could be useful?
Slowly he lifted the blanket a little higher and slipped under the covers, snuggling closer to Hiccup, who huddled closer in his sleep, seeking the refreshing cold.
Another sigh escaped his lips and Jack found himself smiling.
Jack was happy. His ability to keep cold proved useful after all. He was able to help Hiccup!
He was what Hiccup needed right now.